Express & Star

Ashley Young hails Ollie Watkins' Aston Villa impact

Ashley Young has saluted Ollie Watkins and claims the striker brings more to Villa than simply goals.

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Watkins is ready to shoulder the burden up front for the rest of the season following the £15million sale of Danny Ings during the transfer window.

The 27-year-old has netted just five times this term but did bag the winner against Southampton last time out, his third in his last seven appearances since the arrival of Unai Emery.

Veteran Young has backed Watkins to carry the load. He said: “Ollie has been fantastic for us. As a striker you want to be scoring goals week-in, week-out but his all-round game is so important.

“You look at Southampton, he was fantastic with his hold-up play and running the line. He did his defensive work as well. He’s a fantastic player.”

Villa hope to welcome back John McGinn for Saturday’s visit of Leicester after a month out with a hamstring injury. Left-back Lucas Digne is back available after recovering from a shoulder injury but may have to settle for a place on the bench, with new signing Alex Moreno poised to make his full home debut.